SPRINGFIELD — Officials at the minimum-security prison in Taylorville are trying to contain an outbreak of a skin rash among inmates.
At least 17 prisoners at the facility have reported varying levels of rashlike symptoms, with one being diagnosed with scabies, a rash caused by mites that burrow into a person’s skin and cause intense itching.
One wing of a housing unit at the 1,200-inmate prison is under quarantine while medical staff attempt to contain and treat the outbreak.
Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer said inmates showing signs of the rash have been treated and isolated for 12 hours before being returned to a special quarantine room. In addition, the housing wing is being disinfected.
“No new cases with symptoms of scabies have surfaced, for days,” Shaer said.
Shaer said an inmate may have become infected at a county-level lockup and brought the rash into the 23-year-old prison facility.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said scabies mites usually are spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. Scabies also can be spread by contact with items such as clothing, bedding or towels that have been used by a person with scabies.